How to Plan a Small Back Garden Wedding on a Budget

A small backyard wedding is a perfect way to celebrate your love in an intimate and budget-friendly setting.

But before you write it off as being far too casual for your wedding day, know that there are endless ideas on how to transform your garden into anything you want!

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5 Must Haves for the Best Garden Wedding Reception

Garden Wedding Decorations

Not everyone can have a garden like Kew gardens, but you can easily create a botanical garden inspired garden wedding theme! These are my 5 Must haves that you should include in your event planning.

1. Lighting!

String lights / Fairy Lights / Festoon Lights are the perfect solution to add that warm glow when the sun goes down, but the party hasn’t stopped!

2. Bring Your Bar Outside!

Whether you make this out of old pallets for a Rustic wedding vibe, purchase a bar cart or hire a mixologist. Bringing the bar outside is a fun and practical option.

3. Use the Plants!

To save money and keep on budget, pick a few fresh flowers from the garden and pop them in vases to use as your centrepieces.

4. Tables!

It’s ideal for you to set up a few tables and chairs for people to sit and eat in comfort. Banquet tables might be ideal?

5. Create a lounge area!

Creating a lounge area is not only comfortable, but it is so aesthetically pleasing! You’ll see this beautiful setting all over Pinterest. Hire a few armchairs, a sofa and a rug to make this cosy cottage, vintage theme. Plus, it makes a perfect backdrop for photos.

How To Create the Perfect Garden-Themed Wedding

You don’t need a wedding venue to have the perfect outdoor wedding! With these tips, you can create a perfect setting for your romantic garden themed wedding.

Choose the Season

When deciding on a date, you should pick your favourite season. Spring weddings are gorgeous as the flowers are starting to bloom and everything is green. Summer weddings are great for a garden party as the sun will be warming all your guests. Autumn is an outstanding season for an intimate wedding due to the outdoor surrounding colours of the leaves and trees. I’d avoid winter as it’s going to be so cold!

Garden Wedding Ideas

Add Some Flowers And Decorations

Try adding plants such as ferns, ivies, succulents, and other foliage if you want to decorate with greenery instead of floral arrangements. These decorations look lovely against any kind of background, and they won’t require much maintenance once planted.

Use of Light

When choosing lighting for your outdoor event, opt for those made specifically for gardens. Many manufacturers offer options that allow you to control light levels remotely via a smartphone app. That means you can adjust lights based on time of year, weather conditions, or even mood.

Garden Wedding Marquee

Make Sure There Is Plenty Of Room

One thing many couples forget about when planning their garden wedding is making sure there’s plenty of seating for guests. If you plan ahead, you may be able to hire out some chairs or ask your neighbours if you could borrow theirs for the day.

Have Fun With your Wedding Breakfast

Food plays a huge role in every celebration, including yours. So why not take advantage of the gorgeous scenery by serving food that reflects the season? Try fresh fruit salad served alongside cheese platters, grilled meats, salads, and more. Or serve an assortment of small bites throughout the evening, along with drinks.

Another option could be to have Afternoon Tea. This would be brilliant for a summer wedding with a vintage flair. Or if you want a small intimate affair that only lasts the afternoon.

Garden for Wedding

Keep Guests Hydrated

Keeping guests hydrated is important at any wedding, especially one held outdoors. You might want to provide bottles of chilled beverages as well as glasses of Champagne and Cocktails.

Don't Forget About Your Pets.

Your pets are part of the family too, and they deserve special treatment before and after the big day. Make sure you leave pet treats and toys where your furry friends can find them. Or, if your pets are a little timid, make sure that they’re inside, comfortable. Perhaps with a couple of new toys to keep them occupied.

Get Creative With Invitations

Instead of sending traditional invitations, think about how you can incorporate nature into your invitation design. Use natural elements such as leaves, flowers, branches, vines, and trees to spell out “wedding” or use images of flora and fauna.

Small Back Garden Wedding

Consider a Marquee

Marquees come in all shapes and sizes, so it depends on what works best for you. They can range from simple tents to elaborate structures designed just for weddings. Check your forecast, as you may have to have a Marquee to keep your guests dry.

Plan Ahead To Avoid Disasters

Disasters happen. Whether it’s rain, wind, lightning, snow, hail, or something else entirely, the chances are good that Mother Nature has plans for your outdoor wedding. Plan ahead to avoid potential problems. For example, check local forecasts and consider having backup power supplies available. Also, don’t underestimate the importance of waterproofing materials. And finally, ensure that everyone knows exactly which way to go during inclement weather.

Garden for Wedding

Create an outdoor lounge

If you’d like to create an intimate space for your guests to relax while enjoying refreshments, try creating an outdoor lounge area. This will give you extra room to set up tables and other decorations. It also allows you to add greenery around the perimeter of the area.

Table Plans

Creating a plan for tables and table settings is a priority unless you want your wedding party to be a free for all – which is perfectly fine if you don’t have enough room to seat everyone.

Garden for Wedding


You’ll probably need candles for lighting purposes anyway, but adding candle lit lanterns to your ceremony site adds another layer of romance. Candles look beautiful against the backdrop of foliage and twinkling stars.

Garden Wedding Decorations

Dessert Table

A dessert table is such a fun element to your wedding. The kids attending will love it, and so will the older guests later on in the evening.

Make sure that anything you serve on a dessert table doesn’t melt. So sweets like donuts are a great option.

Small Back Garden Wedding

Wedding Cake

When designing your wedding cake, think about a naked cake. They’re super rustic, and when they’re decorated with edible flowers, they look stunning! Plus, it coincides with your garden theme.


Have Fun On The Day

The last thing anyone wants to do on their wedding day is stress over details. That said, wedding planning should still be fun. So take some time to enjoy yourself. Or get a wedding planner to take charge of the stress.

Garden Wedding Marquee

Elevate the entrance

If possible, why not create an archway into your wedding reception? It would create a feeling of a secret garden.

Small Backyard Wedding Ideas on a Budget

Garden Wedding Decorations

If you don’t have a luxurious budget, then you may be thinking that a wedding in my garden is the perfect solution. Or if you want to keep it small because of covid.
But you are still worried about how much a backyard wedding costs. Let me tell you that a garden setting is one of the cheapest ways to have your wedding.

Here are 5 Tips on how you can create the most magical day for next to nothing.

Garden Wedding Marquee

1. Marquee Wedding

  • I would suggest getting a Marquee regardless of the weather. I think they’re the perfect solution to hide a multitude of problems. One, if it rains, and two, if you don’t have the most beautiful garden, you can decorate the inside to make the Marquee wedding ready with beautiful lights and foliage.

  • You can buy a marquee, or there are many marquee companies that will rent one to you.
Garden Wedding Ideas

2. Ask

  • You need tables and chairs for your guests to sit on. Ask all your friends and family to bring some chairs.

  • Or you could use cushions and palettes for tables for a real boho feel! Just ask everyone to bring themselves a cushion to sit on.
Garden for Wedding

3. Lighting

  • String lights are so cheap these days, and they’ll be perfect. But if getting electricity down to the bottom of the garden is a chore, opt for lanterns and pillar candles.

  • Candle lit lanterns are so budget-friendly now, and you can use them for years to come.
Garden Wedding Decorations

4. Food & Drink

  • You’ll have to feed your guests! So think about maybe having a BBQ? You can buy burgers & buns in bulk and easily make vegetable skewers for your vegan guests.

  • Pot luck is also another option. This is where your guests each bring something to add to the table. You’ll find that this can be hilariously fun as you might have a few lasagnas, or you could work with your guests and figure out who can bring what.

  • You can also ask your guests to bring their own drinks. This isn’t unheard of as it is hard to cater to everyone’s tastes, especially if you are supplying everything yourself.

5. Decorations

  • If you don’t want to splurge on vases, then why not use mason jars? Paint them or leave them clear they’re perfect for holding blooms or tea lights. (Or to hold your cocktail).

  • What about using your old wine bottles? People have been placing candles in there for generations, and they look great! Or you can place flowers from your garden in there.

  • Instead of having a wedding guest book, why not use a photo frame that comes from your house, with a picture of you both for your guests to sign?

  • A wish tree is a simple and sweet design. You could also use leaves from your garden for people to write down their wishes and then pin them to a tree in your garden. This could also be an alternative to the wedding guest book.

  • As for music, plug into your spotify and be your own DJ!


What is considered a small intimate wedding?

Weddings with guest counts between 20 and 75 are generally considered intimate.

Can you get married in your own back garden?

You must register your marriage in a permitted location; some of these locations are outside, but none are in private gardens. You may officially register your marriage at your local registrar office and then have a celebrant conduct an informal wedding ceremony in your garden.


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